Burtnyk's Brier memories fond

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

Manitoba's Kerry Burtnyk returned to the same venue where he experienced one of the most emotional moments of his career.

Burtnyk and his team walked off the ice after their last game at the Brier to a standing ovation -- despite failing to make the playoffs.

GOES HOME HAPPY

"The curling didn't go quite as well as I had hoped but there's only one team that goes home happy from the Brier," Burtnyk said while helping to promote the Million Dollar Button Contest to be held during this week's BDO Classic Canadian Open at the MTS Centre. "But the memories I have are all very special of the way people treated us all week. Even when we weren't doing well, people still treated us well. It's probably going to be one of the highlights of my career, remembering what it was like off the ice. It's really special and it's nice to come back into the arena again and hopefully, we'll curl a little better this time."

Burtnyk will be one of 18 teams competing at the third stop on the Grand Slam series and one of seven battling for the last two direct paths to the 2009 Canadian Curling Trials.

Burtnyk, by the way, failed to hit the button on the rather heavy green ice. Nor did any of the other media types invited to give it a go (including yours truly).

"That's pretty amazing when you think about it," Burtnyk said. "Someone's actually going to get a chance to throw a rock and get it to stop on the button for one million dollars ... I mean, as curlers, I don't know if we've played for that much in our lifetime, never mind one shot."

Those in attendance can enter the contest tomorrow and Friday.

The first draw starts at 8 p.m. today.

BURTNYK AT NEVER ALONE: Burtnyk will be the headline speaker for the Never Alone Luncheon, to be held at Canad Inns Polo Park, April 8, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced.

Burtnyk, of course, survived a rare form of scalp cancer, which was diagnosed about eight years ago.

Proceeds from the luncheon will go toward cancer research.


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